Can you see me? Can you hear me? Does anything I say mean anything to you?
Again and again, I hear from professionals who are not being seen, not being heard and, moreover, not being challenged on the job. On top of dealing with feeling invisible, there are large numbers of professionals that lack true validation from their supervisor and/or their company. This can become a never-ending nightmare for someone who truly wants to feel that their work has significance. So, the questions can become endless:
- Am I in the wrong job at the right company, or am I at the right company and in the wrong job?
- My boss is a completely inept manager. Should I leave or stay?
- The culture of this company doesn’t align with my values. Do I “hump” it out to safe zone or run like hell?
The fact of the matter is that when the very essence of your soul is caving in, and you are driven to the point of no return, you have to take steps to help yourself. Don’t just politely tell yourself, “It’s just a job,” and continue to collect a paycheck. Don’t mutter under your breath that the boss is a complete idiot, and then just power through, seething with resentment.
I don’t profess to be a career doctor, but as I often find myself in the role of career change agent for many people, I would like to suggest that you face your job woes head on rather than suffering through worry, sleepless nights, and a zombie-like existence. Rather, you should shift your focus to the future and look for help.
For someone in a bad job situation, there’s nothing more energizing than talking to a skilled practitioner with the credentials, education, and training to back up their professional advice. Whether you think the problem is your supervisor (and it very well may be), the job itself, or the culture or environment in which you work, a solution becomes increasingly difficult to sort out while dealing with paranoia, anxiety, and panic attacks. To help figure out those psychological issues, check out Psychology Today — plug in your zip code and you will find a plethora of credentialed therapists, psychiatrists, and counselors who are ready, willing and able to help.
Regarding the career issues: Two of the most basic exercises you can do to understand which “trifecta” issue is killing your mojo is to identify your values (at the core, the things most important to you) and the skills you most enjoy. When you define these concepts for yourself, you’ll be in a far better position to determine whether it’s your supervisor or a mismatch between your occupational role and/or the environment. Here’s what most people don’t realize. Your values and your skill sets must be aligned with your occupation. If one of those is off, you simply will not experience a high level of job satisfaction. What complicates things even more is when you are working for a company in the right job but the culture just isn’t a fit, and you don’t realize that this is at the very core of your unhappiness.
More often than not, I come across folks who want out. They simply can’t take another day of working at their company. What I’ve learned is that by going through an assessment process, which is the very foundation of a good career decision, clarity will appear.
In our current very complex and ever-evolving job market, it’s essential to perform due diligence before making a change. Understanding the root cause of your dissatisfaction is critical to avoiding finding yourself right back where you started.
While I personally conduct these kinds of assessments for my career counseling clients, if that’s not for you, there are a number of free online assessments that could help you determine how to make a better career decision.
Adapted from a post by Mindy Thomas in AllBusiness.com